George Tyler

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since Jan 12, 2016
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forest garden fungi bee
West of Cascades (600' elevation; 44°N. Lat.) Sandy Soil
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Recent posts by George Tyler

With the electric ribbon, did you have a single-strand only?  I have American Guinea Hog Boars (1/2 size Pigs) kept in by two ribbons at about 8" and 20".  This keeps them in even when the power has been out for a few days.
Though, I must be sure that the Sows are penned downwind and not visible to the Boars.
Also, if the boars get to battling, one occasionaly gets pushed through the ribbons....

Okay, maybe the electric netting sounds pretty good actually.  Though quite spendy compared to ribbon.
4 years ago
Thank you Katy for the helpful knowledge and experience.  That makes a lot of sense, occupying the bare spots to thwart Ragwort recolonization. I will give the clover a try.
I will wait until the Ragwort is much reduced, and the pasture improved, before I get some Sheep.
Thanks again.
 I'm farther South than you (S. Willamette Valley),  but we have half a dozen Walnuts trees on our place.
A few were planted by my grandpa when he was a kid ( he doesn't know the specific variety, but says they are English Walnuts grafted on Black Walnut rootstock). Those are still producing some at 85 years old or so. They get no supplemental irrigation.
 We have a fifty-year-old Butternut tree (gets some Summer watering). We hardly ever eat them because they are hard to crack out.  But the kids do eat some. Also the hulls make Khaki dye, and I've heard you can pickle the underripe fruit.
 I have planted a few new Walnuts that are around eight years old (Idaho Carpathian, Cook's Giant, Rodhouse).  They produce modest crops of tasty nuts.  But I irrigate them a few times throughout Summer.  Last year I OVER-irrigated and broke off a big limb from the Cook's Giant.  I also have two seedling Heartnuts (still tiny, but scrappy).
 I notice a lot of wild Black Walnuts in the area that get no special attention.  Also seedling English-type Walnuts that squirrels plant seem to do fine on their own.    I recently colllected a bunch of Black Walnuts and seeded some droughty, sandy ground that will get no irrigation... we'll see how they do.  
 Good Luck with the Nuts!
 
4 years ago

I direct-seed almost all my winter squash (summer squash too).  I cut the bottoms off of translucent gallon-milk-jugs to use as individual bell-jars.  I lift them up to check and cull.  I keep them covered thusly until they have sizable leaves that won't fit any longer.  Though the north-slope isn't an issue for me, I have found this method to do well at protecting earlier plantings of Squash.  I do grow a few backups in pots just in case I get a miss.
Varieties I like: OR Homestead Sweetmeat (Carole Deppe's> emerges in cool, wet soil); Early Butternut Remix (from Adaptive); Delicatas ('Zeppelin', 'Candystick', 'Honeyboat').  The summer squash 'Costata Romanesco' that Deppe recommends for drying is also awesome.
A side note: This year symphylins wiped out two of my early rows, so I had to replace with potted squash babies.
4 years ago
Greetings!  Does anyone have experience using Sheep to eliminate Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)?
The pasture has been continuously stocked with horses for decades, and now there is a huge population of Ragwort.
I'm pretty sure they are saying, "enough with the horses already!"  

There is a population of Cinnabar Moths whose larvae eat it and Flea Beetles damage it, but not significantly enough.
It can be pulled when the soil is wet (and makes good mulch) but there is too much for that. And each pull makes a bare spot that the rootlets and seeds recolonize. Mowing causes it to perennialize and make even more seed.  
I have read that if the plants go to seed they will die, and if the soil stays undisturbed the seeds will not grow.

They are lovely plants useful traditionally for removing tumours, etc... and they cool the soil beneath by their shade, but...
They are toxic to most livestock and dominate the pasture thoroughly.

I have read that Sheep will eat them to oblivion without ill effects to their own livers.
I don't want to have to shear wool, so Hair Sheep appeal to me.

Does anyone have experience in this particular situation?
Any Hair Sheep breeds better than others at foraging this plant?
How many sheep would I need to effectively work a 5-acre area?
Also, blackberries and thistles in abundance.
Thank you kindly for any help.